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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

Thank you to all of you who came to this weeks' webinar: Teens and Smartphones: Exploring young peoples’ views of smartphone etiquette, ‘addiction’ and healthy tech use habits.

You can watch a recording and download the slides here by toggling to the 'Archive' tab on this page (the recording begins around the five-minute mark).

I answered several of your questions during the session but wasn't able to answer all questions so have tried to do so below.

Thanks again to everyone who came, it was great to connect with all of you and please do let us know what future webinar topics you would like us to cover in 2021!


Q: Have we compared adult actual phone use vs. teen. It may not be that different?

This is a good question and we definitely need to think critically about what the similarities and differences are. I’ve found that consumer surveys often reveal there are some key differences (because they’re often trying to see these data insight to app developers etc.). At a brief glance it was tricky to find any peer reviewed studies that compared adults to teens (under 18yo) but I'm linking two Deloitte surveys from 2014 and 2017 which have some very interesting infographics looking at phone use trends across different age brackets.

Q: Is there a plan to develop a toolkit for parent and/or professionals working with youth?

This is definitely something we would like to do in the future, and we would probably look to do this in collaboration with other teams and researchers at CAMH who work directly with youth and parents. We currently have resources for youth-focused problem gambling on our website so developing similar toolkits or EIPs would be a great idea. I would also recommend the excellent resources from Common Sense Media  and Children and Screens.

Q: Another point is that sexting underage photos can bring criminal charges to even youth for child pornography. Many do not understand this and that photos once put out can never be removed from the internet and public domain.

Yes I’ve worked with students where these incidents have happened and sadly they often haven’t understood the legal/criminal implications of sharing photos, messages and content that have been sent by others (with or without consent). Again, education for young people around safety online is key. I find that Common Sense Media (linked above) is a good resource for these kinds of topics too.

Q: Young people use their phones to have all their needs met. Substances resource expanding network for drug allocation, food -Skip the dishes -Uber- Entertainment -Not attending movies anymore (Netflix), Carryover of IGD (Internet Gaming Addictions) while away from console, kids are problem solving and more independent at a much earlier age. What do parents really provide as per needs for young people today? I think the use of smartphone with Youth is shifting faster today.

Yes, smartphones really are so multidimensional and meet so many needs for young people and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the changes as tech advances so quickly. Whilst I’m not a parent myself, I often feel the role of the adults is to model healthy smartphone use and be there to both ask and answer questions that can ensure young people are educated about staying safe online (so talking openly about things like cyberbullying, pornography, privacy etc.). And we’re also learning what this means every day as new apps and new online trends come up. Keeping young people safe online is definitely an area we hope to invite more speakers to present about this!

Q: I think trying to maintain a dialogue around the rational use of smartphones, the benefits of being mindful of the time spent on our devices...and the importance of taking a break.....and the observations and curiosity within us as to what they are using their phones for during the times that they seem to be glued to it...asking those questions in a non threatening manner not from a position of condemnation but more so from a "seek to understand the attraction and connection

I couldn’t agree more – and brilliantly phrased too. It certainly took me a few years of working with teens to discover that they are often so willing to share their experiences and worries. They feel comfortable to do so when they know we are interested in a non-judgmental way but to really try and understand ‘what they’re getting out of it’ and talk about further if it’s affecting their wellbeing in terms of sleep, friendships, schoolwork, other hobbies and interests etc.

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